Cavalier Generation

Last Updated: Mar. 12, 2008

The Cavalier Generation (Nomad, born 1618–1647) grew up in an era of religious upheaval and family collapse. In New England, they were the isolated offspring of spiritual zealots; in the Chesapeake colonies, they were the indentured English youth whose parents’ death or poverty consigned them to disease-ridden ships bound for the tobacco fields. Notoriously violent and uneducated, they came of age taking big risks—many dying young, others becoming the most renowned merchants, trappers, mercenaries, rebels, and pirates of their century. In midlife, they struggled bravely against threats to their communities from Old World tyrants and New World native tribes. As politically-tainted elders, they seldom protested the vendettas (such as the Salem witchcraft frenzy) that mainly targeted their own peers. (COLONIAL: Increase Mather, William Stoughton, Benjamin Church, Metacomet, William Kidd, Nathaniel Bacon; FOREIGN: King Louis XIV, John Locke)

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